News reports - October 2016

30th October 2016: Further changes to Northern League fixtures in 2017
There has been a further rejigging of the proposed teams in Div'ns 3W and 3WC for 2017. It now looks like we will be up against Halifax, Manchester Harriers, St Helens, Spenborough and Trafford. The only change to the proposed venues is that we will travel to Bradford for the Halifax fixture instead of Edge Hill University on 9th July.
30th October 2016: Northern Athletics needs your support

Message from Northern Athletics: "In early 2014, Northern Athletics (NA) faced a situation whereby financial reserves would run out within 2 to 3 years and asked athletes, coaches and volunteers to complete a survey, to establish the level of support and the key priorities for NA (from those responding to the survey) to be identified.

Thanks to the responses we received (1642 in total) there was an overwhelming majority (97.7%) wanting NA to continue to provide competition beyond 2015 and 89.6% saying they would be willing to contribute £3 each year to secure the future of NA.

Thanks for the support shown in the 2014 survey, due to that we have been able to secure some grant funding from England Athletics (EA) from 2014 through to 2016, During those years NA also focused on reducing costs where possible, with the result that in 2016/17 we are looking to break even although we are still reliant on the EA grant and the Start Fitness sponsorship.

We now need to ask for your support again. Why? There is a likelihood of a reduction in the grant provided by Sport England to EA next year and as a result EA are indicating to us that they can only commit at present to a six month grant for 2017/18 to the areas.

During the years since the first survey, we have done our best to persuade EA that a fixed proportion of the athlete registration fee should be ring-fenced and used to fund the grassroots competition & development of our sport. We used the 2014 survey figure of £3, in our discussions, but our representations have been unsuccessful.

We now need to get further information from you to enable us to argue on behalf of the grassroots of the sport – the clubs, athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials – to make our sport successful and sustainable long term. This survey will be duplicated this time by the Midlands Counties AA and the South of England AA.

Remember we are not seeking Sport England or Treasury funding, we simply believe that some of the money that is generated by the athletes in the sport, should go to the grass roots of the sport.

Please help us by completing the survey; adding any comments you wish to those questions where the facility exists."

Please complete the survey here

29th October 2016: Mid Lancs XC visits Cuerden Valley Park

Regular cross country members will know that the final fixture in last year's Mid Lancs League was to be at Cuerden Valley Park in Bamber Bridge, Nr Preston; but had to be cancelled when heavy rain caused the River Lostock to flood its banks. Today, we were back there for the 2nd fixture in the 2016/17 season and able to assess this new course.

The start and finish was located close to the lake which was quite some distance from the car parks and so parking was far from ideal, particularly for parents, grandparents, even officials with mobility problems and unfortunates responsible for carrying and erecting club tents. At first sight, the start and finish area didn't look ideal either and some modifications were made on the day. All races started on a camber and so positioning was important. And the finish was fast downhill which caught out a few runners, falling before or on the finishing line - but exciting for the spectators. The course itself, however, was generally liked. It was mainly undulating pastureland and woodland with some steep hills, a bog, a muddy ditch and, for the seniors, a couple of river crossings. The ground was mainly rough cow pasture (with plenty of evidence!) and so a far cry from a parkland course but the surface held up well to running and provided good quality cross country. Despite forecasts of a dry but cloudy day, it rained most of the time we were there; like a low-level rain cloud.

Despite a fixture clash with the Liverpool & District XC Union and, for other clubs, a clash with the Red Rose League ar Witton Park, Blackburn, Cuerden Park was very well attended. Southport Waterloo had just under 50 runners across the age groups and had five top ten finishes (I think) , the best being Olivia Logan who repeated her 2nd place finish at Chorley in the Under 13 Girls' race.

Our Under 11 Girls were Emily Dean and Libby Simpson. Emily was 16th in 7:27 for the 1.8 km lap and Libby was 23rd in 7:39. No team finish today.

We had no Under 11 Boys.

We had 7 or 8 girls in the Under 13 Girls' race, possibly 7 because I think one of our girls' didn't finish. Olivia Logan was again outstanding to finish in 2nd place in 10:22 for her 2.7 kms, just two seconds behind the Levens Valley runner who also won at Chorley. Watching the girls finish, I can testify that the winner had to call on all her reserves to keep Olivia at bay! A great run! Grace Tobin and Annabel Lockie were next in, 14th and 15th in 12:10 and 12:11 so there wasn't much to separate them! Alex Murphy-Worrell was 29th in 12:57, Elisa Dean 34th in 13:28, Chloe Sutton 39th in 14:09 and Millie Ireland finished 41st in 14:45. The girls won the team race after finishing 4th at Chorley.

Our Under 13 Boys were Michael Henderson, Lewis McMahon, Finn Cain, Joseph Sutton and James Pike. Michael was first home for the club, 11th of 46 finishers in 13:59 for 3.2 kms. Lewis, running most of the race with one shoe!, was our 2nd counter, 19th in 14:24 with Finn just behind, 20th in 14:31. Joseph completed the course in 15:12 and James in 15:25. Michael, Lewis and Finn were our scoring team, 4th today.

In the Under 15 Girls' race, I think Lilly-Ann Grayson was first home for the club but doesn't appear in the results yet. We think she was 4th with Jessica Dean 5th although she is shown as 3rd in 14:02 for the 3.2 kms with Freya 5th in 14:20. Hannah Doyle was 16th in 16:05 and Ella Tobin 18th in 16:13. The results show S'port Waterloo finishing 2nd team but I'm hopeful the girls might have been 1st!

Harry Pike and James Cain represented their club in the Under 15 Boys' race, both having very good runs. Harry ran 13:53 for 3.9 kms, finishing 7th, and James was 12th in 14:23.

We had no Under 17s.

The Southport Waterloo Senior Women were well represented with 14 runners at Cuerden Valley, a great turnout. First home for the club was Tracy Allan, 44th of 163 women completing the 5.6 km course in 24:55. Michelle Spencer was next, 62nd in 2557, then Carole James was the final team counter, 76th in 26:56. Sarah Grayson finished in 28:06, Sue Cooper, 28:36, Sue Stewart, 29:00, Mandy Bradbury, 29:11, Claire Doherty, 29:36, Helen Lodge, 29:48, Gina Bellhouse, 29:52, Lynne Vickers, 31:55, Elaine Sutton, 34:08, Celia Bell, 35:02, and Jane Blacklin, 37:05. Sue Stewart was 1st L65 at both Chorley and Cuerden Valley. The team of Tracy, Michelle and Carole was17th overall but 3rd in our Division. Sue, Sue and Helen were 9th L45 team and Sue, Sue and Jane were 5th L55 team.

We also had 15 Senior Men at Cuerden Valley, Led home by Ben Johnson, 8th of 292 finishers in 33:58 for the 9.9 kms. Mark Dunham, running I think in his first Mid Lancs cross country race, was our 2nd counter, 31st in 36:42, with Matt Thompson 36th in 37:29. Francois Rafferty was next, 40th in 37:45, John Sprackland, 76th in 40:24, and the final team counter was Richard Talbot, 95th in 41:16, a 4th team finish in Division 1. Simon Tobin finished 111st in 423:06, Neil Adshead, 43:49, Rob Johnson, 44:35, Ian Doyle, 46:56, Matt Nelson, 47:15, Mike Cunningham, 47:40, Robbie Trecharichi, 48:40, Neil Silcock, 49:37 and Ian Pike, 61:52. Rob Johnson was 4th V60, Matt Thompson finished 5th V40 and John Sprackland was 6th V50. Matt, Francois, John and Richard were 3rd V40 team and John, Simon and Neil were 3rd V50 team.

Well done to everyone who enjoyed or otherwise completed this testing course. Thanks, too, to team managers Steve James, Carole James Katy Coupland and to Ian Pike who stood in to manage the juniors on the day.

Full results

Finally, The annual Mid Lancs Cross Country meeting in August considered a proposal for a joint fixture with the Red Rose League. The motion was defeated, at least temporarily, but would have been held today at Witton Park in Blackburn. If all the runners today at Cuerden Valley had gone to Blackburn we would have seen some impressively large fields; 253 Under 11s, 207 Under 13s, 124 Under 15s, 271 Snr Women and 476 Snr Men.

16th October 2016: Ben Johnson sets new club marathon record
On Sunday, Ben Johnson finished 29th ( in a field of over 10,000) in the Amsterdam marathon, in a time of  2: 26:35 . This was his best yet, and is a new club record.   Most of the runners in front of him were Africans, and he was the 1st Briton.
12th October 2016: Merseyside Grand Prix award winners

With the final race in the Merseyside County Grand Prix of Road Races - the Wirral Half Marathon on 11th September - bringing the series to a close for this year, the award winners have now been published. The number of both Men and Women taking part this year has increased and the awards are spread over 8 clubs.

Southport Waterloo runners take 4 awards:


Angela Delaney is the Women's Individual Winner

Susan Cooper takes the LV55+ award

Mark Dunham is the Men's Individual Runner-Up

Alan Joyce wins the Men's MV60+ award


The presentations will be made after the Halewood 5K on Saturday 5th November.

M'side GP Standings | M'side GP Award Winners 2016

12th October 2016: Triathlon success for Olivia Logan

October is often an athlete's chance to reflect on their summer's achievements; new personal bests, favourite meetings, missed opportunities, high points and successes. 

Olivia Logan has been a member of Southport Waterloo for a number of years now and has started this winter's cross country season well with a 2nd place in the Mid Lancs meeting at Astley Park, Chorley.   

However, we'd like to acknowledge Olivia's achievements this summer whilst not wearing a Southport Waterloo vest, but instead wearing a triathlon suit.

Olivia won the North West series and qualified for the Northern Championships.  She then won the Northern Championship and went on to represent NE England at the Strathclyde National competition finishing 5th in her age group.  Well done Olivia.

We look forward to seeing Olivia throughout the Cross Country season, the next meeting being on Saturday 29th October, at Cuerden Valley Park.



11th October 2016: 2017 Northern League dates and venues

The provisional dates and venues for next summer's Northern Track & Field League fixtures have been circulated to clubs in advance of the League's AGM on 13th November.

Having won promotion out of Division 4 in 2016, we meet up with relegated local rivals Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton in Division 3 West. The clubs we will be up against are LPS, Manchester Harriers, St Helens Sutton, Salford Met and Trafford AC. The dates and venues are now on the Fixtures page and we have a home fixture on Sunday 4th June.

9th October 2016: Girls support their Sportshall Athletics team

The Sportshall Athletics season got under way on Sunday with the North West League fixture at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes. We were up against five other clubs; Deeside, Halton & Frodsham, West Cheshire, St Helens Sutton and Handforth. Our Under 11 Girls finished 2nd with 170 points, just 9.5 points behind the winners West Cheshire. Our Under 13 girls were 3rd with 120 points and our Under 15 Girls won their match with 128 points ahead of Deeside and West Cheshire. Brilliant result girls! In the Boys' match we only had one Under 11 and one Under 13 boy so it wasimpossible to be competitive as a team. Footie wins again I suspect. But Sportshall is great fun and the young athletes all enjoy it.

Our Under 11 Girls were Maisie Bird, Daisy Bond, Emily Dean, Natalie Denise-Percy, Olivia Edwards, Michaela Hopkins, Amber Hughes, Lottie Hughes, Jessica Keenan, Grace Malone, Bethany Rose and Katelyn Swift. Its a long time since I've seen so many girls doing sportshall athletics and they certainly made their presence felt in both track and field events with great support from team mates, particularly in the track races where the noise can be deafening! Amber won both the 4-lap in 58.3 and the chest push with 6m 50 and was our fastest, but non-scoring, girl in the 2-lap. The other event win was in the 4-2lap relay with a time of 1:56.4. Jessica was our 'A' 2-lap runner and 2nd fastest of our 12 girls, all of whom did both the 2-lap and the 4-lap races. Jessica also won the 'B' chest push competition with 5 metres. Dean took the 'B' points in the 2-lap, Grace was 2nd fastest in the 4-lap, in 64.7 and took the 'A' points in both the triple jump, clearing 4m 46, and the vertical jump, clearing 34 cms. Maisie, Daisy and Emily all scored 40 in the speed bounce, with Lottie just one behind with 39. Maisy was given the 'A' points and Daisy the 'B' points. Daisy also took the 'B' points in the vertical jump with 33 cms, just 1 cm behind Grace. The final points winner was Olivia in the triple jump taking 3rd 'B' with 3m 93. See the links below for all the girls' results.

Sean Hopkins was our only Under 11 Boy. He competed in the 2-lap race, the standing long jump and the speed bounce where he was 3rd with 41 bounces.

Our Under 13 Girls were Alice Bird, Elisa Dean, Millie Ireland and Katie Percy. We had no event winners here but Mille was 2nd scorer in the 2-lap race in a time of 30.5. Katie was the fastest, albeit non-scoring, in 28.6 for the two laps and she took the 'A' points in both the vertical jump, clearing 31 cms, and the standing long jump, with a best clearance of 1m 66. Alice was our fastest girl over 6 laps. She also won the 'A' points in the shot put with 4m 97 and the 'B' points in the 2-lap race. In the speed bounce, both Alice and Millie recorded a count of 60, Alice being given the 'A' points and Millie the 'B', presumably on the basis of counted faults. Elisa was our best triple jumper, clearing 4m 34 for the 'A' points, and she took the 'B' points in both the long jump, with 1m 53, and the 6-lap race, in a time of 1:45.6.

Ethan Grainger was our only Under 13 Boy. He competed in the 2-lap race and in the standing triple jump and the vertical jump, taking 4th place in all three events.

And, finally, our match-winning Under 15 Girls were Jessica Dean, Stephanie Robertson and Bethany Swift; not quite enough for a relay team but didn't they do well! (In fact, none of the clubs managed to field a relay team in this age category on Sunday!) The girls achieved 5 events wins: Stephanie in the 2-lap with 26.1, Jessica in the 6-lap and, in the field events, Stephanie again in both the standing long jump, clearing 2m 13, and the standing triple jump, with 6m 03, and Jessica in the vertical jump with a reach of 45 cms. Jessica was also 2nd in the speed bounce with a count of 71. Bethany won the 'B' 6-lap race and took our 'A' points in the shot with 3m 83. Some of these individual performances are outstanding so the match win was well deserved.

Thanks to our Sportshall Athletics team manager Chris Henders and to Barrie Hughes and Sophie Dermott-Derraine who helped out at Widnes.

Dave Whitehead and I were also timekeepers at this Sportshall match after timing a Masters track 10K at Leigh Sports Village. It gave a fascinating perspective on athletics to see athletes aged 35 to over 80 and then 9-year olds to Under 15s all enjoying the physical pleasures of running.

Results for SWAC athletes | Full results

7th October 2016: Road race successes

While many of our distance runners were starting the cross country season early, others were excelling themselves on the roads.

Ben Johnson was 7th in the Robin Hood half marathon in a new PB of 69.10

Dave Hamilton (50 next year) ran the Matalan10K in 34.06, equalling his PB 

Mark Dunham was 7th in the Chester marathon in 2.32.36, also a PB

Ben's next target is the Amsterdam marathon in 2 weeks time.


In a new scheme established by England Athletics, this year's Chester race was 1 of 5 marathons in which the first 5 in each masters age group are automatically selected to represent England in a marathon in 2017.  It's not known yet which marathon.

3 SWAC masters qualified. They are

Mark Dunham      2:32:36      2nd M35

Rob McGrath       2:50:16      1st  M50

Mark Ashby          3:02:02     2nd M55

Mark now lives in Scotland, but still runs for SWAC in England. Congratulations to all of them.

1st October 2016: Cross country season kicks off at Astley Park

The first cross country fixture in the Mid Lancs League was held at Astley Park in Chorley on Saturday, the very first day of the official cross country season. The same fixture last year was held in very summery conditions and it was like that again on Saturday. Those who relish cross country running would have enjoyed a bit of mud too but, as one of our senior runners commented "the course was everything that you could wish for in a cross country race - varied terrain, well marked, exciting and tremendous fun. As ever the organisation was superb."

It was very well attended too, with no fewer than 153 under 11s!, 176 finishers in the Senior Women's race and 271 in the Senior Men's race. The league also welcomed some new clubs; Leven Valley, Howgill Harriers and Riversway Runners. There are now some 35 clubs competing in this XC league.

41 Southport Waterloo runners took part. Olivia Logan was our highest placed finisher - 2nd in the Under 13 Girls' race. And we finished a team in 6 of the main races.

Our Under 11 Girls were Emily Dean, Libby Simpson and Katelyn Swift. Emily was 17th of an amazing 82 finishers crossing the line in 7:07 for the 1.6 km course. Libby was 27th in 7:24 and Katelyn 56th in 8:07. The girls finished 5th team so a great start for them! We had one Under 11 Boy, Sammy Pickerill who was 24th in 6:49 but would have been higher if he hadn't lost a shoe in the mud!. The shortage of boys reflects the reality on training nights with lots of girls and very few boys.

We finished a team in the Under 13 Girls' race as well where Olivia Logan was a superb 2nd of 70 finishers, running 10:23 for 2.5 kms. Grace Tobin, moving up an age group this year, was a very good 15th in 11:11, Annabel Lockie was the final team counter, 42nd in 12:44, and Chloe Sutton finished in 13:19. The team was 4th behind Blackpool, Lancaster and Trawden but with only 3 points separating 3rd and 4th.

It was pleasing to see that we had as many Under 13 Boys running as girls. They were Lewis McMahon, Sam Coupland, Joseph Sutton and Michael Henderson. Lewis was first home for his team, 19th in 13:05 for 3 kms. Sam was next, 26th in 13:30, then Joseph was the final team counter, 30th in 13:48, with Michael just a few places behind, 38th in 14:06. The team finished 5th, just 1 point behind Liverpool Pembroke Sefton in 4th place but a good 20 points behind the 3rd placed team.

Our Under 15 Girls were Jessica Dean, Hannah Doyle, Bethany Swift, Ella Tobin and Freya Walsh. This was our highest placed junior team, 2nd overall. Jess led them home, 8th in 13:27 for 3 kms, Freya 10th in 13:29 - another two top ten finishes - ahead of Ella, 18th in 14:49, and Hannah, 23rd in 15:03. Bethany is missed from the results currently.

The Under 15 Boys are easily reported; Harry Pike was our sole runner, 15th of 44 finishers in 16:03 for 3.9 kms. Maybe we can entice a few more for 29th October!

We had no Under 17 Women or Under 17 Men.

9 of our Senior Women competed at Astley Park, led home by the in-form Angela Delaney, 27th overall and 7th L45, in 29:15 for the 2-lap 6.2 kms course. Nicola Simpson, a new name to me, was our 2nd finisher, 47th in 31:14 with cross country and fell stalwart Michelle Collins 52nd overall, 16th L35, in 31:30. Team manager Carole James was 59th overall, 16th L45, in 32:01. Helen Lodge finished in 35:10, Sue Stewart, 1st L65, in 35:28, Amanda Bradbury, 37:12, Lilly O'Driscoll, 37:33, Lynne Vickers, 40:47, and Jane Blacklin, 43:04. The team of Angela, Nicola and Michelle finished 3rd in Snr Women Division 2 so a good start for them. Angela, Michelle and Carole were the 5th L35 team and Angela, Carole and Helen finished the 4th L45 team.

13 Southport Waterloo Senior Men enjoyed the Astley Park course, led home by Matt Thompson, 51st in 42:00 for the 10 kms and 18th V40, only 1 minute 30 slower than last year where he was 4th V40 and went on to win the individual Vet 40 award. Some way back, John Sprackland was 9th V50 in 45:11, new team member Richard Talbot finished in 45:32, then Simon Tobin, 46:01, Carl McMahon, another new team member, 47:20, Keith Swift, 48:25, Martin Sutton, 48:45, Ian Doyle, 49:36, Matt Nelson, 50:48, Neil Silcock, 52:12, Gareth Williams, 52:47, Clive James, 54:50, and Lee Coupland, 64:15. The team of Matt, John, Richard, Simon, Carl and Keith were 15th overall, not the best team start to the season! They were 5th in Division 1, managing to stay ahead of Wigan and District and Barrow & Furness who suprisingly didn't finish a team at Chorley. Matt, John, Richard and Simon formed our V40 team, finishing 7th overall and 4th in Division 1. John, Simon and Matt were 5th V50 team. There were no complete V60 teams.

Thanks to our team managers; Steve James, Carole James and Katy Coupland; and to Lee Coupland for taking a few photos.

The next Mid Lancs cross country fixture, on Saturday 29th October, is at Cuerden Valley Park, Nr Preston, the new venue where we had to cancel last season when the course was flooded. Unfortunately, the date this year clashes with the Liverpool & District XC League fixture in Arrowe Park, Wirrel, so our Senior Men's team will be split.

Full results